Contact: Marie Davis, Executive Director
Metro St. Louis Greater Missouri
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Dec. 13, 2004
Orange "Max-Life" Wrist Bands to Raise More Than $1 Million in Donations
ST. LOUIS - Despite the fact that his father was diabetic, Max Rowe of Kirkwood, Mo., like most children, didn't know much about Type 1 juvenile diabetes until he was diagnosed at age six. Three years later, Max, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and all Schnucks Pharmacies are raising public awareness along with research funds by selling orange, "Max-Life" bracelets for $2.
It was during the holiday season in 2001, when Max and his family discovered that he was diabetic, and his pancreas had stopped working. Max then learned he would have to check his blood 7-8 times per day while receiving insulin shots 5-7 times a day and maintaining a strictly controlled diet. "This isn't what Max thought he would be doing in first grade," said Megan Rowe, Max's mom.
Since his diagnosis, Max and his family have been active supporters of JDRF. "My mom and dad told me rather than hoping for a cure, I need to try to do something about it," Max said. "Finding a cure for juvenile diabetes is my biggest wish." Over the past two years at JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes, Max's Marchers have raised more than $43,000 for diabetes research. Max has spent the last year speaking on behalf of JDRF, lobbying on the local and national level and talking with newly diagnosed kids about "Max-imizing" life with diabetes. The "Max-Life" bracelet is his latest effort to share what he has learned.
According to Marie Davis, executive director of Metro St. Louis Greater Missouri region of the JDRF, the bright orange wristbands have been a hit. "Millions of Americans are living with diabetes and nearly everyone knows someone who has been stricken with the disease and many, particularly children, want to show their support," said Davis. "The `Max-Life' bracelets, now being sold across the nation, will go a long way toward maximizing awareness, hope and life for children with diabetes."
Before the first bracelets were ordered, Davis said there was a wait list of 5,000. To-date, more than 200,000 have been sold in schools, businesses and retail outlets across the country. The cause is also receiving exposure from high profile people like sports announcer Joe Buck and St. Louis Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce.
Davis said, "At the moment, we are struggling to keep up with demand, but we are working hard to make sure the bracelets get out to those who want to make a `statement' about juvenile diabetes.
According to researchers at the JDRF, some of the symptoms of juvenile diabetes are excessive hunger or thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, sweating in cold weather and unusually irritable. If your child exhibits any combination of these symptoms, contact your pediatrician. In the meantime, you can show your support for research by picking up your "Max Life" bracelet, now available at all Schnucks Pharmacies.
All proceeds from Max-Life will benefit JDRF, the leading charitable funder and advocate of juvenile (type 1) diabetes research worldwide. JDRF was founded in 1970 by the parents of children with juvenile diabetes - a disease which strikes children suddenly, makes them insulin-dependant for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. Since inception, JDRF has provided more than $800 million in direct funding to diabetes research. More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education. JDRF's mission is constant: to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. For more information about JDRF, visit www.jdrf.org or call 314-726-6778. For more information about Max-Life, visit www.max-life.org.
Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 102 stores (including five Logli stores) and 95 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Mississippi. The family-owned company ranks 94th in the Forbes magazine listing of the nation's "Largest Private Companies."
# # #